Indonesia Banget #32 : Recipe – Balado Eggplant

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This month is Ramadan Month where all Muslims around the world are fasting. Related to this holy month, I think a recipe of one of my favorite food is a perfect post. Although fasting is about not eating when the sun is still showing her face, but everyone look forward to eat their favorite food as the sun finally set.

Back in 2011, I have shared a recipe to make Kolak (sweet soup made of coconut milk)…I didn’t write the recipe, I was transferring it from another blog. Today is my first time writing a recipe….and trust me, I am terrible at this department!!

My cooking skill comes from my mom who had cooked almost all her life. She never had a ‘real’ recipe, it is always based on hunch…and that passed on to me. So, this recipe I am about to share will have no real measurement….sorry!

What is Balado?

Balado is daily food for Padangenese (people of West Sumatra).ย  WE, Padangnese, use chilli almost everyday. We use it on fried fish, fried potato, fried chicken liver, basically everything that we fry. When we apply this chilly, we call it Balado.

Balado is Padang’s traditional language (Not Indonesian language which is our national language), Lado means chilli, Balado means using chilli.

One of my favorite Balado food is Terong (English translation is Eggplant). I usually made Balado egg Plant without any additional, but someone told me that adding small salted small fishes makes it more delicious…she was right! I like it more with those fishes ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay…enough talking, here’s the recipe (mind you, I am not good with writing recipe)


What you need:

  • Eggplants (cut it to the size you like)
  • Chilli (depends on how spicy you want it to be)
  • Shallot
  • Salted Teri (I think teri is close to anchovy)
  • Salt


  • Fry the eggplants with the white part facing upward, once the purple part becomes a bit brownish, you can turn it.
  • Put all the chilli and shallot in a blender to make a puree. Don’t overdo it, we still want to see small pieces of the chilli.
  • Put aside all the fried eggplants.
  • Fry the small fishes I call teri.
  • Fry the chilli (be careful with this! over cook will make the chilli very spicy, not fully cook will also make the chilli very spicy. Well cook is when you see foam around the fried puree.
  • Put the fried eggplants and teri into the chilli
  • Ready to eat with rice ๐Ÿ™‚


All balado basically have the same recipe, all you need to do is change the content. Here are another example of Balado:

Photo belongs to
Balado Egg – Photo belongs to Dapoer Imoet
Photo belongs to
Balado Fish -Photo belongs to
Photo belongs to TraditionalTaste.Blogspot
Balado Shrimp – Photo belongs to TraditionalTaste.Blogspot

See you next month on another edition of Indonesia Banget … next month is August 17, my country’s independence day ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. It is tasty…well at least to most Indonesian ๐Ÿ˜‰
      If he likes spicy food, you guys really need to come to Manado (one of Indonesia cities), they have so many spicy food and quite a killer too. The first time I ate one of their food, I was really surprise and had a bit of stomachache.

        1. Wow … you came all the way from London to Medan?
          We usually call it kue not kuih…and yes Bika Ambon is delicious #drool ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Nasi Padang is really famous ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Is shallot quite common there? Because everytime I see cooking show from US, they always use that big onion (we call it Bombay onion)

      1. Shallots are always in the grocery stores, but often only a tiny section of it. Generally we just use big onions – which come in two or three varieties and are called such scintillating names as “yellow onion” or “white onion”.

  1. Hi, hi…
    I couldn’t come here recently but now I come with good news(sorry but it isn’t actually related about your post). After Ramadan we (my husband and me) think having a 6 day trip and one of our vacation option is Indonesia :)) If I have not met you before, Indonesia would not be an option in my mind… By the way I couldn’t find your email address, can you contact me via, cumbavlu

    1. That’s a great news ๐Ÿ™‚
      I am happy that I inspired you to come here…hope we can meet ๐Ÿ™‚
      I will send you an email soon.

  2. Mmmmm!! Nice recipe Novia!! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I’m liking this one…. it’s simple and I can actually find all of the ingredients locally!! Don’t worry about the vagueness of your measurements… all cooks do things like that.. I’m notorious for “winging it” at work…. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    The anchovies ought to work well… I use them sometimes to substitute for things like Thai nam pla sauce or Chinese Oyster sauce when I don’t have any handy.

    I’m thinking a little apple cider vinegar might be nice too…. Mmmm!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Thank you Miyuki ๐Ÿ™‚
      The ingredient is very simple and that’s why I share it here. I know how to cook Gulai but that needs a lot of seasoning and I am afraid I mislead people with my vague recipe ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Apple cider vinegar? hmmm I wonder how the taste would be…plus I never seen such vinegar here.

          1. I have all the ingredients now and I’m making it for Carolyn and I tonight! The neat thing was that the Chinese owner of our Asian food store knew what this was all for when I was buying it…. so cool! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. This looks delicious. I eat chillies almost every day but I think I couldn’t as as many as you do. I didn’t know that cooking them too long or not enough wlll make them spicier. That’s interesting.
    A great post. Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe.

    1. We don’t eat it like that…it’s what we call as lauk, we it this with rice. It’s more like a side dish (I think that’s the right word). When mix with rice, the chilli is no longer that much.
      Yeah, I have been there so I know the theory is right…when I cooked for the first time, everyone always complained that my cooking was too hot, I learned little by little to know when is the perfect time for a chilli to fully cook.
      Thank you, Caroline ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. That was interesting, but I don’t really like eggplant much. Or anchovies. Maybe I’ll just have the chillies.

    1. Hahaha…well some people here like to eat with rice and chilli. The mix them together (I am one of them but I eat the eggplant too).

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